Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How I Made Floofy White Icing For A Happy Freaking Birthday

Ok first off, here's the recipe for a standard three layer cake:

8 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
4 Tablespoons Softened Unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Milk (I use 2% usually)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract

Add the milk a little at a time for consistency to the other ingredients in a large mixer and mix well.

Here's what I ended up doing -

First I ALWAYS mix the icing until it gets a lot of air into it.  It will actually get a sheen like a metallic paint.  Gives a lot more volume that way and it never fails.

Second make sure your butter is soft.  Room temp is best.

Third make sure you have all your ingredients before you start.  

Why did I say that?

We just got a pantry cabinet from Ikea.  Put the thing together.  I didn't know that the top part of the cabinet was the new, official home for the mixer parts.  It took me 15 minutes of checking the "Logical Places" for the parts like under the sink or under the oven where they had been for years.  Of course I did watch as they got moved to the cabinet, I really did... it just didn't register that I would ever really find a need for the blasted things again!  Out of sight out of mind!  Cue swearing while I actually find the mixer parts.

I added the 8 cups of confectioner's sugar to the mixer.  That's 2 pounds of sugar!  No wonder why people save a sugar coated frosted cake for a special occasion!

Add all the ingredients save the milk to the mixer.

Go to the refrigerator and realize that I had saved only a wee bit of the stuff for today.  Oops.  It turned out that I had a little more than an ounce of milk in the bottom of the container - 1/6 of a cup or 1/4 of what I needed.  

Cue some more swearing.

Realizing that I had about a pint of whipping cream in the refrigerator, I grabbed the carton gave it a sniff.  Ahhh! Still fresh! Since Heavy Whipping Cream is really just thick milk, that 2/3 cup milk ended up being a substitute.  1/6 cup milk, 1/6 cup water, 2/6 cup heavy whipping cream for a total of 2/3 cup of "milk".

All swearing aside, it turned out amazingly light and fluffy.  I would even call it Floofy.  You can add cocoa powder to get chocolate icing, but that can be tricky and you may have to add more milk to get the icing back to it's floofy best.  I've got those two containers full of icing that will go on the birthday cake once I get that made.

Since the milk just got delivered by a surprise visit from Kevin at lunch I really have to get started.  I've got three layers to bake, little circles of wax paper to cut and baking fun for this afternoon!

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